Caitlyn Jenner, who once said she wanted to be a “trans ambassador” to Ted Cruz, will be in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention as a special guest at the Big Tent Brunch hosted by conservative pro-LGBT group the American Unity Fund.
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“Can't wait to hit the road to Cleveland!” Jenner tweeted on Friday night.
An Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon and a reality television star, she has used her celebrity to bring attention to transgender issues.
While she has not said whether she will be speaking at the Republican National Convention, her appearance in Cleveland comes at a time of heated argument in the Republican Party over LGBT rights.
At the forefront of the debate is North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which critics have called the most anti-transgender bill in the country. The bill, signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory in March, directs all public schools, government agencies and public college campuses to require that multiple-occupancy bathrooms and changing facilities, such as locker rooms, be restricted for use according the sex stated on a person’s birth certificate.
Jenner, an outspoken critic of the so-called bathroom bills, plans to address the legislation during her appearance in Cleveland.
“As a proud Republican and transgender woman, I want to support courageous Republicans who advocate for LGBT freedom. Our country’s nondiscrimination laws must be updated, and this cannot be achieved without bipartisan support,” she said in a statement provided to The Daily Beast. “Congress needs to act, along with almost  Republican states, to update our nondiscrimination laws. I want to do my part to persuade more Republicans to support freedom for millions of LGBT Americans.”
This spring, Donald Trump said that people should “use the bathroom they feel is appropriate.” He welcomed Jenner to use any bathroom at Trump Tower, an invitation she accepted in a viral video posted to her Facebook page.
After the mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Trump vowed to support the LGBT community on Twitter.
Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2016
Trump’s support of the LGBT community is a welcome change for a group often marginalized by the party’s hard-line positions on same-sex marriage and transgender rights.
In a press release, the American Unity Fund’s senior adviser Tyler Deaton said that in the last four years, Republican support for LGBT people and issues has made progress.
“The world is a much different place than it was in 2012 during the last Republican National Convention. We have seen tremendous progress and acceptance for LGBT freedom, especially after the historic Supreme Court decision affirming the constitutional freedom to marry for same-sex couples,” Deaton said.
While Jenner hasn’t endorsed Trump, she was not supportive of Clinton on her show “I Am Cait.”
“I would never, ever, ever vote for Hillary. We’re done if Hillary becomes president,” she said. “The country is over.”